Ernie Coffman had a passion for the Corvette from an early age. In 1968, as a junior in high school, Ernie was working at his future father-in-law’s gas station.
Ernie handled a service call for a breakdown on I-71 near Mansfield, Ohio. The call was for a gentleman that had trouble with the vehicle he was using to tow a 1954 Corvette. He needed money to fix his tow vehicle, and Ernie knew he needed to buy that Corvette.
Without any money, Ernie borrowed from here, there, and anywhere. He finally was able to buy the 54 Corvette. Ernie’s girlfriend at the time Pam Myers (now Pam Coffman) agreed to work an extra job to help him buy this car!
Thus, Coffman Corvette was born.
Initially, Ernie started to work on only Corvettes at the gas station. Then, in 1969, he moved his small Corvette operation to his home garage and in addition to repairs, he began restorations.
The small Corvette business was doing fairly well. However, the U. S. Government had a different job for Ernie – being drafted by the United States Army. While stationed in Kansas, Ernie was still able to work on corvettes.
After serving his country for 1 year, 8 months, 14 days, 6 hours, & 12 seconds in the U. S. Army, he returned to Ashland, Ohio. And he came home with 3 Corvettes: a 1959, a 1963, and a 1967 400 hp air coupe!
Soon, Ernie’s wife pressed him to sell the beloved 1967 so they could put money down on a house. After purchasing the house, the Corvette operation was moved into his garage. In 1972, son Clint was born. Ernie had to take on an additional job at Whitey’s Auto Mall in order to pay for diapers.
Business soon outgrew the garage at home, so in 1974 he rented building on U. S. 42. And daughter Renee was born. Coffman Corvette stayed there until 1976 and then moved to new facility again on U. S. 42 that he just new he would never out grow – 2,400 SF.
The Corvette restoration business was going fine, but Ernie found out he could not get the parts he needed to do the job right.
The decision was made to start making the parts he needed.
Soon Coffman Corvette outgrew the 2,400 SF building and moved once again – this time into a 5,000 SF building just up the road. He knew this building would be big enough for a long time.
Sales were really good, and once again, this building was not big enough. Thus, the search began for a larger building. Ernie was having a difficult time finding what he needed to support the growing business.
While vacationing in Florida 1992, Ernie’s wife Pam came through once again. Somehow she located a 27,000 SF building in Clermont. After purchasing the building, the entire Coffman Corvette operation was relocated from the Mansfield, Ohio area to the new facility.
Coffman Corvette stayed in Clermont for ten years. Business was constantly increasing and many new parts were added. Ernie’s wife decided they should move the business and family back to Ohio. So in 2002, it was time to move yet again.
Coffman Corvette purchased 60,000 SF building in Mansfield, Ohio with another 10,000 SF pressing facility. With the growth of the business and the increased interest in resorting Corvettes, production was again expanded. State of the art CNC equipment was purchased.
The decision was made to make all parts in house. Ernie reasoned that Corvettes are made in America so parts should be also.
Today Coffman Corvette manufactures 100’s of restoration and replacement parts - in the United States. Ernie’s son Clint now runs the business. Waiting in the wings are grandchildren Chase, Bailee, Hannah, Carson & Carlee.
Coffman Corvette – in business since 1969.
Quality Is The Reason For Our Success!